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Pentax Intros Weather-Resistant 10MP Digital SLR

Pentax unveiled a new weather-resistant digital SLR and an ultra-slim point-and-shoot, last week.

The 10-megapixel K10D will fill out the top of the company’s d-SLR line, which includes the K100 and K110, all of which retail for less than $1,000.

The K10D offers a proprietary Shake Reduction (SR) system and a weather- resistant body with 72 seals to protect the camera from dust and moisture.

The company claims the CCD-shifting SR system offers a 2.5- to 4-stop advantage when shooting in macro, telephoto or in low light without a flash. Since the blur reduction system is based in the camera body, not the lens, the benefits of image stabilization are bestowed to all of the lenses in Pentax’s lineup, the company said.

The K10D will also offer a new dust removal (DR) system that combines a dust-resistant coating on the CCD with a vibrating engine to shake loose any dust that does adhere to the sensor.

The camera’s image processor is also new, branded PRIME for Pentax Real IMage Engine. A new Sensitivity-Priority AE (Sv) mode automatically selects the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for user-selected sensitivity, up to ISO 1,600. Sensitivity settings can also be set manually to ISO 1,600.

The SLR offers continuous shooting at approximately three images per second for an unlimited number of JPEG images or up to nine RAW image files. The camera also features a 2.5-inch LCD, 32 custom functions and six digital filters.

The K10D will ship in November with a DA18-55mm lens for a suggested $999. A body-only K10D kit will ship simultaneously for a suggested $899.

Pentax also announced the dust/moisture proof D-BG2 battery grip for use with K10D. The grip doubles the camera’s battery life when also using its lithium-ion batteries. The grip ships in November for under $190.

For portrait and landscape photography, Pentax added a limited edition lens, the smc DA 70mm F2.4. It will ship in October for under $600.

For point-and-shooters, the company added the 7-megapixel Optio T20 to its lineup. The camera is 0.77 inches thick and offers a 3x optical zoom lens alongside a 3-inch, 230,000 pixel touch-screen LCD.

Users can add stamps and picture frames to images in-camera. In a new My Drawing mode, consumers can use the included stylus to draw photos on their images on the LCD screen. Favorite photos can also be saved as image stamps to be added to future photos.

The T20 features 12 shooting modes, VGA/30 fps movie recording, 12MB of internal memory, and a user-selectable function setting for storing frequently used camera settings.

The Optio T20 ships next month for a suggested $349.